Some excerpts from the interview:
What’s the biggest misperception of you?
“That I am this brooding, twisted, lovesick person who just can’t get it right in life. Every story about me is so heavy and dramatic. That’s not how I do life. But that’s the impression people have, and that’s what keeps getting reiterated. As if I’m still stuck in all the muck of the past. And I am so not.”
Halle Berry works out so much because she has diabetes:
“I do not love to work out,” she says, “but if I stick to exercising every day and put the right things in my mouth, then my diabetes just stays in check.” She probably sees Peterson more than most anyone else these days; they live on the same street in Beverly Hills, and they are also in the process of developing a unisex sports drink for GNC, something “sustainable and light and not a gimmick,” she says.
On her daughter Nahla:
“Best thing that ever happened to me.” She smiles. “I’ll tell you a story: I took her shopping, and I had that moment that every parent has,” she says as she zips through the side streets of Beverly Hills. “You look away for a second and they’re gone, and your body just gets all hot. And so I had a little breakdown. Shut the doors! I’ve lost my daughter! I look around and, sure enough, 30 seconds later, she pokes her head out: ‘Hi, Mommy.’ But it made me think: What if she really did get lost? Would she be able to say who she is? So that night, I said, ‘What’s your mommy’s name?’ And she looked at me like, You idiot. Why are you asking me what your name is? I asked her again: ‘Nahla? What is Mommy’s name?‘ She thought about it for a second, and finally she said, ‘Halle Blueberries!’ Blueberries are her favorite fruit.” Berry laughs, still tickled. “I’m just glad she didn’t say ‘Halle Blackberry.’”
On starring in Catwoman:
“I had such high hopes for that movie,” she says with a sigh. “It seemed like a good idea. Men have done it. But our story just wasn’t good enough. But I will tell you one thing that has helped me deal with the failure of that: Critics bashed it, but people come up to me now and either they say, ‘I loved you in the movie B.A.P.S,’ which is a comedy that I did, or they say, ‘I don’t care what anybody says, I liked Catwoman.’ Nobody ever says, ‘I really loved Monster’s Ball.’ Nobody. No. Body. Nobody!”
On her breakup from Gabriel Aubry:
“Just my luck!” she says. “By the time it hit the papers—full of rumors and lies, with people having to make up problems between us—Gabriel and I had long dealt with it. We were done. And we were on a good foot, and we had decided what we were going to do for Nahla, and we were able to say, ‘This will pass.’”
“It’s just that you realize you are not meant to go the distance with everybody,” she says. “We were meant to bring this amazing little person into the world. And I think that’s why we came together. And because of that, we are going to be together forever, all three of us. We are a family until we are not here anymore.”
On maintaining a healthy friendship with Gabriel:
“We have always been friends, we’re still friends, we love each other very much, and we both share the love of our lives. And we are both 100 percent committed to being the best parents we can be. And while it was not a love connection for us, he was absolutely the right person to have this child with because she is going to have an amazing father. And that was really important to me. We’ll make sure we always do what is right for her and put her first. And she will see as she grows that we have a lot of love for each other.”
On Halle’s biggest fear:
“I worry that this whole insatiable appetite for celebrity children will somehow adversely affect Nahla. I don’t think it’s fair, and I don’t think it’s safe. How will she grow up, having been objectified like this for most of her whole young life? Already they write things about her: Oh, she looks like this; oh, she looks like that. But nobody knows her. They just pick her apart on a very superficial level. How will I be able to help her keep that in perspective in this town?” To that end, she recently rented a house in San Francisco to spend time alone with Nahla away from the glare of celebrity. She’s considering moving there full time, “to have her grow up in a place that is less of a fishbowl.”